Cruelty : on the limits of humanity / by Margaret Schein
Includes bibliographical references (p. 236-239)
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Electronic version from ProQuest
This dissertation analyzes the concept of cruelty through an examination of philosophical treatments of cruelty, and historical and literary instances of cruelty. It explores the concept of cruelty as it marks the limits of our conceptual and practical moral capabilities. This exploration reveals that cruelty is a distinct kind of moral violation, and as such, poses a peculiar problem for traditional ethical analysis and for the practical application of our moral system.This project offers a description of cruelty, which accounts for the moral peculiarity and force of cruelty. It argues that an exploration of the normative dimensions of "humanity" and their intersection with moral prescriptions and prohibitions is crucial for understanding violations like cruelty. This exploration points to the necessity of seeking new explanations for the moral importance of being human and of identifying the aspects of the human life-form that legitimate moral responses to human caused harm.
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